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Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers reaffirm support for strong fisheries and aquaculture sectors in Canada
The Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) met today in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Topics included working together on sustainable aquaculture development, managing the threat of aquatic invasive species, and the future of fish, fish habitat, and fisheries in a changing climate. In a separate pre-session, ministers also met with representatives from National Indigenous Organizations to hear their perspectives on climate change and its impact on Indigenous communities with respect to freshwater and marine environments. Ministers look forward to continuing to hear Indigenous perspectives at next year’s meeting.
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, and the Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development for Manitoba, the Honourable Greg Nesbitt, co-chaired the meeting, which was attended by their provincial and territorial counterparts and representatives. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to using this multilateral forum to collectively address fisheries and aquaculture issues of pan-Canadian importance and recognized its importance as a vehicle for clear and frequent communication. Ministers recommitted to holding meetings of Council on an annual basis.
Ministers discussed the aquaculture sector as an important economic driver for Indigenous and rural communities. Recognizing provincial and territorial differences and jurisdictions, they also explored how to position aquaculture to respond to increasing demand for sustainable quality food. Ministers also discussed how ongoing innovation in the sector drives sustainability, by enabling growth alongside the protection of wild fish and habitat. It was acknowledged that with respect to the development of a responsible plan to transition from open-net pen salmon farming in coastal British Columbia, this commitment only pertains to the Province of British Columbia, where Fisheries and Oceans Canada is the lead regulator of aquaculture. Elsewhere in Canada, where provinces and territories are the lead regulator, Fisheries and Oceans Canada respects their jurisdiction.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS), which pose serious risks to Canada’s biodiversity and threaten our fisheries and aquaculture sector, were also discussed. AIS have significantly impacted native fish stocks in Canada. In addition to environmental damage, invasive species also cost billions of dollars every year due to lost income and tourism revenue, infrastructure damage, and the implementation of control measures. Ministers agreed that increasing efforts and collaboration on AIS is a priority. They agreed to work toward standard decontamination protocols that respect jurisdictions and respond to local needs. They also agreed to enhance collaboration in the fight against aquatic invasive species.
Finally, CCFAM Ministers talked about the impact that a changing climate will increasingly have on Canadian marine and freshwater ecosystems, in particular, the impacts on fish, fish habitats, aquaculture, and fisheries. It was acknowledged that jurisdictions are already currently experiencing impacts of climate change. Ministers agreed that further CCFAM engagement on how they can work together to support marine and freshwater fisheries and aquaculture in this changing environment is a priority, including potential approaches to adaptation and mitigation.
The Government of Nunavut did not attend the 2022 CCFAM meeting
Ministers attending in person from left to right: The Honourable Dana Skoropad, Minister of Environment (Saskatchewan); the Honourable Shane Thompson, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Minister of Lands, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, and Minister responsible for Youth (Northwest Territories); the Honourable Derrick Bragg, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture (Newfoundland and Labrador); the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (Canada); the Honourable Greg Nesbitt, Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development (Manitoba); the Honourable Jamie Fox, Minister of Fisheries and Communities (Prince Edward Island); the Honourable Steve Craig, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Nova Scotia).
“Canada’s vast aquatic resources, climate and biodiversity are interconnected. The health of our oceans and fresh water are critical to communities from coast to coast to coast. Meetings such as the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers, help us to strengthen Canada’s blue economy through collaboration, innovation, and inclusive growth. Thank you to the Government of Manitoba for hosting this meeting!”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Manitoba was pleased to host this meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers. Manitoba boasts outstanding Indigenous, recreational and commercial fisheries and we are pleased to be able to discuss how to continue to support and protect these valuable resources with colleagues across the country.”
The Honourable Greg Nesbitt, Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development
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For more information:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Government of Manitoba
Communications and Stakeholder Relations
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